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Category Archives: Conveyancing News

Your Conveyancing Services Director Goes Back To School To Donate Much-Needed Laptops

It was back to school for Newport-based Your Conveyancing Services’s Director of IT when he returned to his old school in Pontypool to donate 40 much-needed laptops. 

Joe Norris, who attended St Alban’s RC School, was delighted to meet children and some of his old teachers when he returned to make the donation of the reconditioned Chromebooks to aid learning development at the school. 

He said: “It was great to be back and meet some of my old teachers, headmaster Stephen Lord and a number of the current teachers and pupils.”  

He added: “We need to continually update our equipment at Your Conveyancing Services because of the nature of our business as an online conveyancing practice. We were keen to donate some of the Chromebooks our staff use which are still in excellent condition to somewhere which would really benefit.  

“We already had links with the school and we contacted them to offer the Chromebooks which we have wiped and cleaned ready for the pupils to use. I was delighted to go along and officially donate them on behalf of Your Conveyancing Services.” 

Headteacher Stephen Lord said: “We are really grateful for this generous donation. We will be sharing these Chromebooks with some of our most vulnerable pupils to help them access their studies and I know they will make a real difference and be very beneficial to them. 

“It was also a pleasure for me and for the pupils to meet Joe, a former pupil, and see how well he is doing. It is always an inspiration for current pupils to see what pupils have gone on to achieve after leaving St Alban’s.” 

Your Conveyancing Services Managing Director Lloyd Davies said: “We are always keen to ensure that computer equipment is recycled where it can be to aid our local communities. We have previously donated laptops to a youth centre in South Wales so this is our second recent donation.  

“I am delighted they are going to be used by pupils who really need them to help their education.” 

Earlier this year, The Conveyancing Foundation, the not-for-profit charitable arm of the Convey Group, helped to raise £25,000 for a new health and wellbeing suite at St Alban’s after a group trek by the ‘Mindstep Trekkers’ along Offa’s Dyke national trail. 

Headteacher Mr Lord added: “The continued support of Your Conveyancing Services to St Alban’s is very humbling and very much appreciated.” 

Relations Between Conveyancers and Estate Agents Improve While Clients Become More Demanding

Conveyancing and legal experts have spoken out about the stresses and strains facing those working in the property and legal conveyancing world as we move out of the Pandemic in The Conveyancing Foundation’s latest ‘Be Kind We Care’ webinar. 

Speaking at the webinar to mark Stress Awareness Month, Conveyancing Foundation chairman Lloyd Davies said that while relationships had improved between conveyancers and estate agents since Pandemic days, it was the opposite for clients who could often be “less understanding and more demanding” with their behaviour “fuelled by the very buoyant property market”. 

Lloyd, also Managing Director of Convey Law, said: “Clients’ behaviour during the Pandemic was quite good in many respects. They were quite patient because they understood the problems we had. I think less so this year.  

It just seems that they are now very, very demanding which is putting a lot of pressure on our teams. That again is fuelled by the very buoyant property market. People are very impatient now because they know that house prices are going up and they may get gazumped so there is very little tolerance in the market which is putting a lot of pressure on all conveyancers. 

Meanwhile, Lloyd said that he believed the ‘Be Kind We Care’ campaign launched by the not-for-profit Conveyancing Foundation during the Pandemic, prompted by growing reports of aggressive professional behaviour in the property, conveyancing and legal sectors, had encouraged many working in those industries to consider and manage their dealings with each other to ensure more kindness: 

I believe that relationships with others in the property world like estate agents and introducers of business have become a lot better. They are not quite as aggressive and are far more understanding of our predicament as conveyancers which is a good thing. Of course, it’s also all down to supply and demand: if they are nasty to us, we don’t work for them! It’s quid pro quo!   

We do think that we are raising standards with ‘Be Kind We Care’ and I hope everyone can keep going in that respect. It is so important to be nice and pleasant to each other in terms of stress. A nasty comment can ruin someone’s day. I also believe that employers do understand that if they don’t treat their staff well, they will walk. 

Lloyd also said conveyancing was still very busy in the aftermath of the Pandemic and living through a period of “peaks and troughs”, explaining: 

We are in a little bit of a situation in the conveyancing world. The industry has had a very busy and difficult time with people working from home but also the stresses within our environments with the SDLT deadlines which gave us false set of waves throughout last year leading up to September was hugely stressful.  

I don’t think they have quite gone away and certainly the volume of instructions coming through is quite considerable and managing capacity and the amount of work is an important factor. We had a dip in completions at the beginning of the year but we were back to a high at the end of last month. We are living through a series of peaks and troughs and we need a more level playing field! 

Webinar host LawCare Chief Executive Elizabeth Rimmer said managing the expectations of clients whose transaction was probably “the biggest thing going on in their lives” while conveyancers might be dealing with 100 transactions was key: 

An understanding of why people might be behaving in a certain way is vital,” she stressed. 

Jason Bull, a mentor at Agents Together and Chief Operating Officer of easyproperty.com, said estate agents, solicitors and conveyancers had “a very similar job dealing with people with high stress and high anxiety levels which extends into our staff”, and it was “valuable” to hear each other’s viewpoints. 

He said tolerance in dealing with each other was “all down to education”, adding: 

I am pleased to hear that estate agents are becoming more tolerant. Sometimes problems can arise when agents don’t understand where their job ends and where the conveyancer’s job begins. I have seen agents interfering with a conveyancer’s job and that just adds extra time, extra complaints and layers of conflict and yet we share the same problems and by talking to each other, we can solve an awful lot of them. 

He said: “I work at a high level in Agents Together and at an estate agency so it is useful to consider the boundaries between the role of a conveyancer and an agent but also how we manage boundaries in a hybrid world. People are more depleted than they normally are. Some people came out of the Pandemic relatively unscathed while others experienced illness or even bereavement. Some people found it difficult working from home while others enjoyed it. One size does not fit all. 

Jason welcomed increased discussion on mental health and wellbeing in the property industry, and said to some extent this had “previously been a taboo subject”, adding: 

Estate agency has been a macho, ego-driven environment but charities have opened the door to discussing stress and mental health and wellbeing. If worries, doubts and concerns are not discussed, they manifest. 

Jason said his own agency had looked at ways of reducing stress and had now made a pledge to ensure staff only sent emails during working hours: 

Emails sent out of working hours bleed into someone’s time and bleeds into being anxious after hours,” he commented. 

Hannah Beko, a partner at Gunnercooke llp and a mental health trainer, said that while there was more discussion about mental health issues and more resources than ever before – “what is out there is not reducing numbers”. 

She shared tips on stress and burnout, emphasising the importance of keeping an eye on colleagues and on changes in behaviour in them and in ourselves. 

She said: “There’s a lot of positives in terms of discussion and support but we are still at the tip of the iceberg and we need to be more alive to that. 

Convey Law Achieves ESTAS – ‘Standard of Excellence’ to make shortlist for the “Oscars” of the Property World

Leading legal conveyancing practice Convey Law has been recognised for delivering outstanding customer service to its clients and shortlisted for two awards at the ‘Oscars’ of the property world: the ESTAS – the Estate Agent of the Year Awards, the largest awards for the UK residential property industry. 

Convey, based in Newport South Wales, has been shortlisted for the national Best Conveyancer Group of the Year Award and for the Regional Award for Wales. 

Convey has also attained the ESTAS newly-introduced ‘Standard of Excellence’ to make it onto the shortlist of the top 600 conveyancers, estate agents and mortgage brokers for customer service in the whole of the UK. 

The awards are powered by the ESTAS online customer review platform, which enables property professionals to demonstrate the customer service standards they deliver for their clients. ESTAS reviews can only be completed at the end of the property transaction and a strict verification process ensures reviews are genuine.  This year’s shortlist has been calculated following the evaluation of 660,000 client reviews. 

The ESTAS “Standard of Excellence” kitemark has been introduced for the first time by ESTAS to help firms promote their service standards, said Ben Marley Commercial Director at ESTAS. 

“Competition to reach the shortlist is getting tougher and tougher as we attract more and more firms across agency, conveyancing, mortgage broker and supplier sectors.  So – for the first time – we have introduced the ESTAS Standard of Excellence which firms must attain to make the shortlist,” he said. 

“Achieving The ESTAS Standard of Excellence is a service kite mark which every firm on the shortlist should be extremely proud of. ESTAS reviews are unique because they must be completed at the end of the moving experience ensuring they provide a true reflection of the overall service received and therefore deliver a powerful marketing message to future customers.” 

In 2021, Convey Law scooped three top ESTAS awards – the Regional Award for Wales and the Bronze Award in the National Conveyancing Group of the Year Award – as well as Best in County for Newport – and is hoping to repeat its winning formula. 

Convey Law Managing Director Lloyd Davies said:  

“The ESTAS Awards are extremely well-thought of in the industry because they directly relate to a company’s performance day in day out so a real indicator of how well we have done. We are therefore very proud to be shortlisted again in 2022 after winning three ESTAS awards in 2021 and proud to have attained the inaugural ESTAS Standard of Excellence kitemark.  

“The fact that the awards represent outstanding customer service means they can be directly attributed to the conveyancers and other property professionals across the UK who have worked so hard for their clients in very challenging circumstances in recent years.  

“These professionals have been directly rewarded by their satisfied clients who have gone onto the ESTAS platform at the end of their transactions to praise the excellent service they have received. There can be no better commendation than this so we are extremely pleased to be shortlisted.” 

In the last year, Convey Law has also been named Medium Employer of the Year at the Welsh Government’s prestigious Apprenticeship Awards, and currently has a record 158 employees, aided by its training and apprenticeships programme, and a total record workforce of 178 including its regular consultants. 

Lloyd Davies said: “We have continued to take on and train many new apprentices in 2021 and 2022 and we also plan to open new offices in Cardiff and Swansea this year.  

“The strength of the business and its continued growth will also enable our specialist affiliate Convey365IT to bring to market our ground-breaking IT case management system for the conveyancing industry later this year which will mark a huge landmark for us. We look forward to bringing home more awards at the ESTAS ceremony later this year!” 

The 19th annual ESTAS, sponsored by Coadjute, will take place on 14 October 2021, hosted by “Location Location Location” property expert Phil Spencer in front of an estimated 1200-strong audience at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.  

Phil Spencer said: “The ESTAS Awards are based on real feedback, from real clients experiencing real service so they provide genuine proof of the service levels that a firm is delivering to clients. Now more than ever, high-quality customer service is crucial if homemovers are going to realise their dream of getting the property they set their hearts on.” 

Conveyancing Foundation Ukraine Appeal Tops £30k After Mindstep Trekkers Take On Hadrian’s Wall

THE CONVEYANCING Foundation’s Ukraine Appeal has topped £30,000 after a group of charity trekkers helped to raise funds by taking on the notoriously tough terrain of Hadrian’s Wall. 

 The Mindstep Trekkers, led by Conveyancing Foundation chairman Lloyd Davies, hiked over 90 miles in five days along the historic Roman ramparts in northern England. 

Funds raised will now boost the total of the recently-launched appeal to over £30,000 in only a matter of weeks since it was launched. 

All the funds raised by the Appeal will be donated to the official DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal to provide food, water, shelter and healthcare to those fleeing the terrible conflict in Ukraine and desperately in need of help. 

The DEC brings together 15 leading UK aid charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently at times of crisis overseas. By pooling resources to work as one, the DEC is pivotal in coordinating the UK public’s response to overseas disasters. 

Thanking the “exceptional achievement” of his fellow trekkers, Lloyd Davies said:  

I cannot thank everyone enough for what they have achieved by taking on this very tough coast to coast walk. There have been some injuries along the way but we have all survived. I am very proud to have been of this challenge for such an incredibly important and urgent cause. 

Nicola Lancaster from the Conveyancing Foundation said: “We are all extremely humbled that the trekkers took time out from their lives to take on such an epic challenge for our Ukraine Appeal. 

The appeal has also been boosted by donations from new property industry sponsors PEXA and Groundsure who have both donated £1000.  

Heather Crichton, General Manager, Industry Readiness, PEXA commented: 

Our purpose at PEXA is to transform property experiences for everyone – and that truly means everyone, including those who don’t have a safe place to call home.  

We are passionate about solving the homelessness crisis both locally and abroad, and we been devastated to watch the events unfolding in the Ukraine, with many displaced as a result of shocking events.  

We are pleased to support the Conveyancing Foundation’s Ukrainian Appeal Charity Lotto and encourage others in the industry to do the same.” 

Gary Miller, Sales Director at Groundsure said: “We are absolutely delighted to be supporting the Conveyancing Foundation with the ‘DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal’ during this unbelievably tough time for all of those connected to the Ukraine.   

The challenges which we are seeing in Ukraine are extremely close to many people’s hearts at Groundsure and we hope that our donation goes towards helping those that need it most. 

Thanking them for their support, Nicola Lancaster said: 

We would also like to thank PEXA and Groundsure for coming on board as sponsors. Their contribution is greatly appreciated. If you would like to sponsor the appeal with a financial contribution, that would be fantastic.  

Companies that pledge £1000 or over to the Appeal will be marketed on the Foundation Appeal webpage and all publications in conjunction with this Appeal. We will work with you to produce a dual branded video that you can share amongst your contacts to raise awareness and promote your involvement further to your clients.”  

During the Foundation’s Ukraine Appeal, for a minimum donation of £10, anyone can take part in the Charity Lotto with a possible chance to win £500.  

Everyone involved in the conveyancing industry is asked to help – Estate Agents, Conveyancers, Mortgage Brokers, Lenders and all Companies and individuals that would like to help to engage their staff members, clients, friends and family to take part and corporate sponsorship opportunities are also available. 

Nicola Lancaster explained: “By participating in the Conveyancing Foundation Charity Lotto you will be raising funds that will help DEC charities in Ukraine and neighbouring countries meet the needs of all refugees and displaced people.  

To put it in context, £30 could provide hygiene supplies for three people for one month, £50 could provide blankets for four families and £100 could provide emergency food for two families for one month.  

Please contact Nicola Lancaster for additional information on how you can help –  info@conveyancingfoundation.com

Your Conveyancing Services Legal Director Laura Burkinshaw Runs 100 Miles for Refuge

Laura Burkinshaw started out on her ’31 in March’ running challenge to raise funds for the charity Refuge, which opened the world’s first refuge in Chiswick, West London, in 1971.

Refuge is now the country’s largest single provider of specialist accommodation and support to women and children escaping domestic violence and other forms of violence and abuse. On any given day Refuge supports more than 6,000 women, children and men.

Laura decided to pledge 50 miles instead of the 20-mile minimum initially in March and Your Conveyancing Services donated £1,000.00 to Refuge to support Laura with her running and fundraising. Once completed, Laura then took on the challenge of running another 50 miles in April, bringing her total to 100 miles! Your Conveyancing Services donated another £1,000 for her incredible efforts.

Laura has now completed her challenge and has raised £2,170.00 for Refuge!

Your Conveyancing Services Donate Over £13,000 to Cardiff-Based Velindre Cancer Charity

Over £13,000 raised through The Conveyancing Foundation’s Charity Lotto has been donated to the lifesaving Cardiff-based Velindre Cancer Charity.

The donation has a particularly personal link to the Convey Group as James Smith, former Business Development Manager at The Conveyancing Academy, has recently been successfully treated at the Velindre Cancer Charity Centre.

James and his wife Georgia who formerly worked at the Conveyancing Foundation presented the cheque for £13,185 to Velindre nurses alongside Conveyancing Foundation chairman and Your Conveyancing Services Managing Director Lloyd Davies.

Andrew Morris, Velindre Head of Fundraising, thanked the Foundation and Your Conveyancing Services for the donation, commenting:

Please send our extended thanks to all colleagues who helped to achieve this amazing amount. We hope to see James and friends at many of our events in the future. Your support is sincerely appreciated and makes a huge difference to patients and their families.

The Charity Lotto has previously donated £1000 from funds raised by Your Conveyancing Services to Velindre, which does so much to help families from the South Wales area and beyond, after it was nominated by another member of staff at Your Conveyancing Services, whose partner was treated for cancer at the hospital.

Your Conveyancing Services is one of a growing number of companies raising funds for charity through The Conveyancing Foundation’s Charity Lotto where clients of any legal practice or property company can donate a voluntary £10 at the end of their transaction, giving them a chance to win £500 in a monthly draw.

The Lotto has helped companies raise over £800,000 for their chosen charities over the last decade.

All funds from the Lotto raised by Your Conveyancing Services are currently being donated to the Conveyancing Foundation’s Ukraine Appeal which has already raised over £30,000 which will go to the DEC.

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